With millions of us all over the world safe at home, people are reaching out to friends and family, and engaging with brands online – so, that is exactly where you need to be! Social media is a great channel to advertise your products or services and usage has definitely increased significantly since the introduction of a lockdown in the countries most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, with Facebook reporting over 50% increase in messaging via their platform on the 24th of March.
Digital is more important than it has ever been, so, if you are not already investing in digital marketing – NOW IS THE TIME…
Maintaining a social media presence
Many consumers are looking for inspiration and are keen to discover new brands, things to do in the future, and things to keep them entertained at home while the lockdown measures continue. When the pandemic is over, it will be those you have reached digitally that may be inspired to visit your theatre or attraction when travel restrictions are lifted. It's well worth laying the groundwork now to cash in on this in the future.
According to the Kantar 2020 consumer survey, 75% of consumers say brands should inform people what they're doing during the COVID-19 pandemic. So, it is incredibly important to maintain your social media presence in preparation for when the pandemic ends, this will keep potential customers up to date with your theatre or attraction.
So, what can you do to ensure that your business is in the best place possible once the COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted and its business as usual? Here are some suggestions from us...
Virtual experiences to drive engagement
According to Google Trends, search volume for virtual tours in the UK has grown by 93% since the start of March. Attractions, such as The British Museum, are actually running paid search campaigns advertising their virtual tours to ensure that they are top of the search results for museum tours.
One of our clients, Royal Academy of Dance, introduced [email protected] on the 1st of April, providing online dance classes while they are closed to the public. On the day the class went live, their website saw a 1,650% increase in traffic compared to an average day. RAD has received a phenomenal response from the off-set with this campaign, which can be built on during the remainder of the lockdown; ensuring they are top of mind in their sphere when things return to normality.
Another great example is Glasgow Science Centre who created GSC At Home, demonstrating a new experiment for children and parents to attempt at home. As you can imagine, this has been a big hit with parents as it ticks both the education and entertainment boxes while the kids are safe inside and being homeschooled.
Continuing to advertise if you are able
As Henry Ford wisely said, “stopping advertising to save money is like stopping your watch to save time.” If you have the reserves to continue to advertise, albeit most likely at lower levels than before, then it is advisable to continue to advertise digitally and continue to build brand awareness until the crisis has passed.
With the majority of the population in many countries safe at home, they have more free time on their hands and are turning online to fill in their day. COVID-19 has even changed online behaviour, according to Wordstream there has been an increase in paid search ad impressions and a spike in late-night impressions. With many countries still on lockdown and much lower levels of commuting, COVID-19 seems to have changed when consumers are online, with many staying up well past their normal bedtime.
Although experts are seeing an overall lower level of conversions on campaigns for non-essential products/services, there is still value in maintaining brand awareness activity.
A cost-effective channel to increase your brand awareness is the various social media platforms available. There are many platforms to choose from, and each work better for different audiences;
- Facebook - this platform has the broadest range of adults using the platform
- Instagram - most popular for teens and young adults. It is the home of influencers, so ideal for influencer partnerships.
- Twitter - ideal for targeting males within the 30-60 age bracket.
- Pinterest - ideal for reaching female adults with interests in DIY, travel, fashion and lifestyle topics; such as baking.
- Snapchat - ideal for reaching school (high school to University) aged youths
- TikTok - The newest video platform to take the world by storm! Ideal for reaching young audiences via short-form video.
- YouTube - best for the under 50s who consume video content for either entertainment or education.
Planning for the post-coronavirus landscape
One thing is certain during all of this uncertainty, the COVID-19 pandemic will end at some point in the future (hopefully not too distant) and things will return to a more normal situation, and when it does, you need to be top of mind.
It is very difficult to predict what the post-COVID-19 landscape will look like. However, it is reasonable to expect people to want to treat themselves and get out of the house after being on lockdown, so, it’s best to be prepared and take full advantage of the potential demand for your theatre or attraction.
Encouragingly, according to The Guardian, UK tourism businesses are reporting a rise of up to 40% in traffic to their websites since coverage on the Coronavirus pandemic rose (March 2020). Consumers are clearly thinking about their activities post-pandemic; making sure you have a digital presence has never been more important.
So, use this downtime to plan for the future and create a strong digital marketing strategy, and maintain an engaging digital presence to ensure your business bounces back post-coronavirus.
Supporting you through this crisis
It is a very difficult time for businesses at the moment and we do recognise that many businesses are solely focused on short term survival.
Supporting your business throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and for the remainder of 2020 will, of course, be your top priority and something that agencies such as After Digital can help you with. We can assist with any aspect of your digital marketing, from strategy to managing your social media or paid search activity, we can work with you on a short or long term basis to ensure your business is in the best place possible post-coronavirus crisis. If you’re interested, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.